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JESIE's Halloween Open Day in Wuxi

Trick or treat! Students of Xinan Experimental Primary School in Wuxi had a real blast last Thursday during two very special Halloween-themed lessons for a JESIE Open Day. Experienced teachers Tom Butler and Warwick Midlane showed the students some Halloween-related vocabulary and proceeded with fun and engaging games to help them assimilate and use the language.

Tom had the grade 6 students introduce themselves with a simple but amusing jack-o-lantern ball throw. They had to say their name and something they like. Some students came up with funny and very Chinese answers such as My name is Jack and I like eating.

The students then learned the Halloween words zombie, pumpkin lantern, vampire, ghost and witch which was unexpectedly impersonated by their regular English teacher (the author of these lines) who, according to Tom, happens to look like a witch--a good one, of course--and laugh like one--a bad one, of course, much to the delight of her students.

The classroom was split in two teams and two students came in front of the classroom. When Tom named one of the pictures on the board, they had to throw a pumpkin ball at it, scoring a point for each good answer.

The students then learned how to act like these legendary Halloween creatures and had to show their acting talents by performing in the next activity. Tom walked around the classroom with a Trick or Treat bag and students had to pick a colored ball. If they picked the green ball (treat), they got a candy. If they got the orange ball, they had to do the trick he asked for. The students impersonated very creative zombies and vampires, but couldnt come close to their mentor when asked to imitate a laughing witch.

As a parting gift they received nice Halloween coloring cards to give their friends and family.

Warwick made the grade 5 students learn the Halloween-related words skeleton, bat, goblin, witch (there she is again), pumpkin, black cat and mummy, as well as the directions left, right, up, down and turn around. The classroom was separated in two teams, boys vs girls, and two students were chosen to come to the front of the classroom and duel wearing a witch hat and holding a magic wand. Both students stood back to back, holding a picture, and waited for the classroom to count down to one before they turned around and shouted the name of the picture they saw in the other students hand.

For the next game, students were blindfolded. They had to pin the nose on the witch with the help of their classmates shouting directions.

Last but not least, students were not only blindfolded, but also dressed up as a mummy, almost covered from head to toe in toilet paper, and had to pin an eye on a gigantic mummy with their classmates guiding them. This activity was no doubt the highlight of the lesson, making students laugh every time someone was rolled up in toilet paper and turned into a real-life mummy.

Both teachers offered truly memorable performances the kids will certainly remember and I will forever be remembered as the witch. HA HA HA HA HA!!!